more words to live by

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like harry potter with the word f%&*

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cheryl recommended this. that's her synopsis in the title of this post. its spot on. i kinda love it. i stayed up way too late last night reading. i'm going to crawl into bed a little early tonight to read - in hopes that i won't do the same again tonight. although, there's really nothing i love more than being so into a book that my normally good judgment is impaired.

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pretty words

in honor of national poetry month, one of my new favorite poems...

famous by naomi shihab nye

The river is famous to the fish.


The loud voice is famous to silence,
which knew it would inherit the earth
before anybody said so.


The cat sleeping on the fence is famous to the birds
watching him from the birdhouse.

The tear
is famous, briefly, to the cheek.

The idea
you carry close your bosom
is famous to your bosom.

The boot
is famous to the earth,
more famous than the dress shoe,
which is famous only to floors.

The bent
photograph is famous to the one who carries it
and is not at all famous to the one who is pictured.

I want to
be famous to shuffling men
who smile while crossing streets,
sticky children in grocery lines,
famous as the one who smiled back.

I want to
be famous in the way a pulley is famous,
or a buttonhole, not because it did anything spectacular,
but because it never forgot what it could do.

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gracious when mugged

i love personal narratives. that's why i listen to npr constantly. and since they've started storycorps, i listen with rapt attention on friday morning. many days it makes me cry, sometimes it makes me laugh. this story did both. talk about being the change you wish to see in the world.

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favorite things

i will not give away anything. i will just say i'm mentally & emotionally exhausted. i read until 2:30 friday night. for an hour yesterday morning, another hour yesterday afternoon and about 15 minutes after the party was over. i then read for an hour before going to see grandma and then for 6 hours without a break. i cried. a lot. and laughed. and these were the lines that made me laugh the hardest:

"'ear, 'ear."
"she's as nutty as squirrel poo."
"we teachers are rather good at magic, you know."

and now i'm going to go chill. and hope that shawn finishes it quickly - i'm dying to talk about it. that and well, then i can re-read it.

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last chance

cheryl & i are going to go to barnes and noble tonight to get our copies of harry potter. i haven't done the midnight thing for any of the other books. earlier this week i knew i had to. last chance, you know?

i finished #6 last night at about 1:30. i forgot what a kick to the gut it was. dumbledore?!? how on earth am i going to get through 700-odd pages without dumbledore? its unimaginable. but yet, in the wee small hours of tomorrow morning, i will be doing it. and facing the very real possibility that more of these characters i've grown to love will die.

so, yes, i will be at barnes and noble tonight. i will wait in line with my wristband. i will pay for my copy. and i just know i will hug it to my chest. and then i'll race home, take a deep breathe and start reading. if you don't hear from me for a couple days, you'll know why. and if fred and george die, it'll be even longer.

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the opposite of malaise

i was listening to this american life today and heard one of my favorite episodes. my favorite act is "merci" - the story of candido and carmen. they tell the story of an almost disastrous trip to italy during what carmen referred to as a malaise in their relationship.  they ended up reconnecting and remembering what the loved about the other in the first place. its a sweet, funny story perfectly told. and it got me thinking...

about travelling. and how desperately i want to go on a BIG trip. estonia? romania? japan or india if the price is right? our last big trip was to amsterdam. and italy before that. and amsterdam, paris and italy before that. and before that - our first trip to italy. sigh. our first trip to italy. that trip yielded one of my most favorite stories that shawn & i tell. i'd say it rivals carmen and candido's story...

we'd been in italy long enough to hop a train from the airport, walk from the train to the hotel, check in and freshen up. two hours max. two hours and we decide that renting scooters is a good idea. brilliant right? we can see a lot of rome quick. and look cute riding vespas.

we take our helmets and keys and fearlessly approach our scooters. our first destination, the bone church. we look at the map and figure out where we're going. we need to ride up to vittorio, hang a right and drive until we hit the piazza and then we were going to stop and check the map again  we were off. and there was vittorio. and shawn didn't turn. i took the turn and thought he'll find me - he knew where we were going. i rode up to the piazza and waited. i thought about having to call shawn's mom, renee, to tell her that after three hours in a foreign country he was lost forever. i imagine myself explaining to her that no, i had both our maps. and i had the phrasebook and the guidebook. yes, i brought your son to a foreign country and sent him off on a scooter defenseless...  after twenty minutes, he appeared. i handed him a map and we were off again.

we rode around aimlessly, winding our way up one of the seven hills. we found a gelato stand at the top with a view to die for. it was one of the happiest moments of my life. we decided to find our way to the spanish steps. we checked the maps and were off. we came across a traffic hexagon and as if italian traffic wasn't scary enough, i got cut off by a box traffic in the traffic hexagon of horror. i was forced to turn and shawn sped off without me. i thought "don't panic, we're going to the spanish steps, just got to the spanish steps..."

3 hours, a terrifying tunnel, a minor traffic collision and a dinner invite from a suave carabinieri later i was at the spanish steps. surrounded by hundreds of people. and i can't remember what shawn was wearing. after wandering, wondering if i was ever going to see my dear, dear husband again, for what seemed like another three hours i climbed to the top of the steps, figuring i could spot him from up top. i didn't spot him. i spotted the camper store at the bottom though and thought shawn likes campers, maybe he's there... and that's where we found each other, in front of the camper store. i've never been so happy to see him. it felt like we were running toward each of in a field while music swelled.

trust me when i tell you its better when we tell it together but its one of my favorite stories so i wanted to share...

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right book, right moment

i was ranting at shawn last night about how wildly disappointed i was in marie antoinette. it felt like cotton candy - pretty to look at but ultimately unsatisfying. there was real potential but sofia kept it very shallow. i told shawn it was very much how i felt about the virgin suicides - a movie i really like but doesn't even come close to capturing the magic of the book.

at that moment the conversation took a turn. we started talking about movie adaptations and then just books in general. for me, the virgin suicides was one of those books.  for shawn its high fidelity.

there are books i adore that don't fall into this category. books i've read and re-read. books that i couldn't put down. books that made me forget the world existed altogether. and although some of these books possess some or all of those qualities, the books i'm thinking about they also leave you convinced  they were written just for you and quite
possibly about you.  books that make you feel like the author and you
are old friends.

before the virgin suicides it was the dylanist by brian morton. and then emma who saved my lifethe sixteen pleasures. and  starting out in the evening. like a hole in the head. parts of special topics in calamity physics were like that for me. there are more. and there will be more.  but for now, i'm just going to re-read the dylanist and forget all about marie antoinette.

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in the right light

i was driving home today and was listening to an interview with peter o'toole. they were talking about a scene in his new movie where he recites sonnet XVIII (shall I compare thee...) he then began extolling the virtues of the sonnets ande revealed that he knew them all by heart. melissa block asked him to recite one of his choosing. he chose CXXX (my mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun...) and i have to say, i was a little swoony.

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